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Monday 11 December 2017

7 things you need to know about Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has yet to play in the Premier League despite coming close to moves to Southampton and Arsenal
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has yet to play in the Premier League despite coming close to moves to Southampton and Arsenal

Zlatan Ibrahimovic could move to England after his contract at Paris St Germain expires in the summer.

The striker has never played in the Barclays Premier League after spending his career to date in Sweden, Spain, Italy and France.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at seven things you might not know about the Sweden international.

1 A good sleep

Ibrahimovic slept on a mattress on the floor of new team-mate Maxwell's house for three weeks after joining Ajax from Malmo in 2001. The pair are best friends having played at Ajax, Barcelona and PSG together after moving to Holland on the same day.

2 He rejected Southampton

The 34-year-old could have joined Southampton after his first year at Ajax with the Dutch club happy to allow Ibrahimovic to go out on loan after a disappointing first season. He told the BBC: " At that time, I thought of Ajax as the top. I had to go somewhere even more at the top. In my mind, I felt that to go from Ajax to Southampton, with all respect to Southampton, I would be taking a step down."

3 Trademark

In 2003 the striker reportedly applied for a 'community trademark', which is valid across the EU, on 'Zlatan' and 'Zlatan Ibrahimovic'. This applies to sporting goods, beer and more, with anybody's use of the term 'Zlatan' in these contexts 'most likely being perceived as (relating to) Zlatan Ibrahimovic'.

4 Champions League record

His goal against Chelsea in PSG's 2-1 win on Tuesday was just his eighth in 37 Champions League knockout games - in the group stages the Sweden striker has found the net 38 times in 79 games.

5 Relationship with Guardiola

Ibrahimovic had a spectacular falling out with Pep Guardiola while at Barcelona and, in his autobiography, revealed he had laid into his former manager following a game at Villarreal. "I screamed at Guardiola. I screamed about his balls and how he he'd be s******g himself in front of (Jose) Mourinho, and you can imagine. It was war and it was me against him."

6 Arsenal trial

A move to Arsenal never materialised despite Ibrahimovic holding talks with Arsene Wenger and the Frenchman offering him a trial with the Gunners. ""You can have a trial with us," he (Wenger) said. "You can give it a try". No matter how much I wanted to behave, those words set me off," Ibrahimovic wrote in his autobiography.

7 Titles stripped

The two Serie A titles Ibrahimovic won at Juventus in 2005 and 2006 were both revoked following the 'Calciopoli' scandal in Italy when clubs, including Juve and Lazio, were accused of rigging games by selecting favourable referees. Juve maintain they were unfairly punished.

Press Association

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